Fifteen selected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) out of the 76 that applied for the SNV 2022 GrEEn Innovation Challenge have received awards.
The selected SMEs include Green Ecoworks, Nasag Lach, Brofoshelle Ventures, Moreplex Co. Ltd, Asaasepa Naturals, Agri Centric, and Uvuko Co. Ltd.
The SMEs, mainly from Ashanti and Western Regions, would receive a total of up to 25,000 euros in the form of matching grants.
The GrEEn Innovation Challenge, funded by EU, with the support of the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana, is a yearly competition aimed at supporting SMEs and businesses with outstanding, innovative green ideas.
The Challenge forms part of GrEEn Ghana’s objective of supporting entrepreneurs and green SMEs to increase their operations.
Mr. Sadda Laouali, the Project Manager, SNV, said the green project was working on two pillars, supporting youth and supporting SMEs.
He said supporting SMEs also came with a package of training, mentoring, coaching and a few others.
Mr. Laouali added that, “skills itself is not enough, we also need to have access to finance, that’s why the project organised such activity to see which from the SMEs are the best, providing or showing the high quality in terms of circular economy taking into account job creation and sustainability”.
He said the project was a four-year project, with the third year about ending, hence, the need to consolidate and see how to work on sustainability for those that had been selected.
Mr. Laouali said the project was implemented by two organisations: SNV and UNCDF, where SNV had a total of 10.3 million euros for the four years.
“For the UNCDF, it is around supporting MMDAs on climate resilience solution and so on, but also access to finance, how to connect the youth and SMEs to various financial service providers,” he added.
Ms. Emmanuella Appiah, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Green Ecoworks, and the winner of the SNV 2022 GrEEn Innovation Challenge, thanked the SNV and EU for the awards.
She said the 25,000 euros awarded to her would be used to build a workshop, recruit more workers, buy solar generator, machineries and also secure the necessary certifications.
Green Ecoworks deals in recycling of plastics dumped in communities.
She said, “Before 2019, I didn’t even know there was anything called recycling, but I volunteered for some organisations and I discovered it.”